Saturday May 18, 2013
Idaho Uses FBI Agents to Detain Oregon Motorcycle RidersTim King Salem-News.com
For most people, a ticket for running a red light is not a two hour ordeal.
(SALEM, Ore.) - A group of motorcyclists from Oregon, California, Washington and Australia say police were unnecessarily harsh during a traffic stop in Idaho Wednesday night.
A spokesman for the Gypsy Joker Motorcycle Club, "Tattoo Mike", says the group was riding with between 60 and 70 members in Nampa, Idaho when police decided to pull the group over.
A news source in Idaho reported that, "Dozens of police officers were brought in to help wrangle a traffic stop for a large biker gang which may turn into a federal investigation."
Tattoo Mike says it seemed pretty obvious that the police were assembled en mass to pull them over. "They had M-16's, there were cops everywhere. The FBI was there. I guess we ran a red light and that was their reason for pulling us over."
He says the riders, most of whom are military veterans, were detained for easily two hours. A small amount of marijuana was apparently located, but the user was a medical patient.
"They lined us up, they photographed us, it was really unnecessary. They had 3-4 circles of containment around us, there were cops everywhere."
He says one club member was heavily scrutinized because he had a concealed weapons permit. "They him of drinking, and he ended up blowing a .00 on the breathalizer" Tattoo Mike said.
Club members believe they had the attention of law enforcement around the time they passed through McCall, Idaho. The local Idaho Fox station reported that, "The group wouldn't at first cooperate in the traffic stop." But Tattoo Mike says the large group stopped as soon as they realized they were being pulled over.
The Fox station wrote, "so more officers from around the area were called in to help. Eventually the bikers were guided off the road and into the Idaho Center Auto Mall at Garrity Road."
It's an interesting story in a nation founded on freedom and the government's supposed respect for military veterans. It looks like the cops had word of the club's annual run and saw it as a good opportunity to detain them and gather personal information about each.
The Gypsy Joker club has a history of looking out for their legal rights and they have won two cases in Oregon in recent years that ultimately cost the taxpayers in Keizer and Gresham a lot of money.
An Oregon attorney once said to me, "In spite of police perceptions, motorcyclists have Civil Rights that guarantee their ability to proceed without being accosted by law enforcement."
For most people, a ticket for running a red light is not a two hour ordeal. The local press seems pretty sold out as far as being able to objectively look at a story like this.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), the first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several other awards including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
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